First Manchester bus pay win
Strike action ends as workers accept vastly improved pay offer
Strike action that has affected the entire First Manchester bus service has ended after drivers accepted a vastly improved pay offer.
The 300 plus drivers, who are members of Unite, have accepted an improved offer which will see pay rates increase by 8.9 per cent.
In addition to the increase in basic pay the drivers will see all other payments increase by the same percentage and they will also receive a one off payment of £750.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is an excellent result for our members at First Manchester. By standing together and remaining united they have secured a substantial pay rise.
“This deal puts down a strong marker for other bus companies that Unite will fight for decent pay increases that reflect the cost of living crisis. We are determined to defend members’ jobs, pay and conditions – it is Unite’s number one priority.”
In total bus drivers took eight days of strike action since the beginning of the year in the dispute, which caused considerable disruption to bus passengers throughout Greater Manchester.
The drivers recorded a 70 per cent yes vote to accept the improved pay offer.
Unite regional officer Dave Roberts added, “From the beginning of this dispute Unite made it clear that strike action could be avoided if First Manchester was prepared to table an offer that met our members’ aspirations. Once the company understood this, a deal was agreed and the dispute ended.
“It is hoped that following this pay deal, relations with First Manchester can be strengthened and further disputes can be avoided in the future.”
There is a growing shortage of bus drivers throughout the UK. A recent survey of Unite members revealed that 99 per cent of garages had shortages and that low pay was identified as the primary reason for workers leaving the profession.
By Barckley Sumner